The Beeb is to simulcast BBC One with a new HD channel launch in autumn 2010. BBC One HD will show high definition programmes in their native resolution, and upscale standard-def ones, much like on rival channels such as ITV1 HD and 4HD.

Its existing HD channel, BBC HD, will continue to broadcast other hi-def content from around the network.

It has also been confirmed that this new step will see production on its highest profile and flagship shows move over to high definition in the coming months. Shows such as EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty will make the leap sooner rather than later.

Danielle Nagler, Head of BBC HD, suggests that the new channel will appear on all of the current platforms: "I'm delighted that the HD simulcast of BBC One will become available on satellite, on cable, and now also on Freeview's new HD service", she said. "This is a key moment for us on the journey to HD becoming the norm for all our programmes and channels".

That means, Virgin Media, Sky HD, Freeview HD and Freesat customers will be able to see just how perfectly round Phil Mitchell's head really is. Now, if that's not a good use for the licence fee, we don't know what is.